An ISO primer.

Author:Spearin, John
Position:Quality - ISO 14000, 14001, 9000
 
FREE EXCERPT

ISO 14000 is concerned with environmental management and the way an organization goes about minimizing its harmful effects on the environment. ISO 14001, more specifically, is an environmental management system, based on the ISO 14000 standards. It is a proactive management tool that allows an organization of any size or type to control the impact of its activities, products or services on the environment.

ISO 14001 can be used in a variety of ways from ensuring consumer and stockholder confidence by providing proof that you are in control of your environmental processes, to recruiting environmentally conscious employees who appreciate working for a company concerned about the environment.

ISO 14001 has five principals, each requiring a specific expertise in order to complete it:

  1. Commitment and policy. This includes your company's mission and vision when it comes to maintaining your Environmental Management System (EMS) and upper management's commitment to that mission.

  2. Planning. Your organization needs to lay out its specific plan for fulfilling your environmental policy, including several levels of personnel at the facility.

  3. Implementation. Your organization should have or develop the capabilities to achieve your environmental policy, objectives and targets.

  4. Measurement and evaluation of your EMS, implemented by a management team, including an independent review, and approved by upper management.

  5. Review and improvement. This step is an opportunity for your company's management to continuously evaluate the EMS with a focus on improving your environmental performance.

ISO at a glance

The International Standards Organization (ISO) in Geneva, Switzerland, has compiled best practices for organizational management and publishes them as International Quality Standards. The organization is made up of representatives of more than 140 countries with the mission of facilitating the international exchange of goods and services through mutual cooperation.

ISO 9000 requires organizations to develop systems for document control or customer complaints.

ISO 9001 is a voluntary, international standard within the ISO 9000 family that is designed to help organizations systematically manage their operations.

ISO 14000 is concerned with environmental management and the way an organization goes about minimizing its harmful effects on the environment.

ISO 14001 is an international environmental management system standard designed to help companies...

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